Right diet helps calves thrive

Right diet helps calves thrive

The right diet will give your calves the best start in life.

An ideal product for top-notch calf nutrition is Agrifeeds’ Grower 16® - a good quality and cost-effective feed with 16% protein. It is well-suited to weaned calves weighing 70kg to 80kg which have been reared on a quality calf starter.

The highly palatable Grower 16® includes molasses, sweeteners and flavours for improved taste, and therefore consumption by calves, while the live yeast improves dry matter and fibre digestibility, increasing energy supply for the growing animals. Grower 16® also contains safe starch levels so it suitable for ad lib feeding.

Agrifeeds says feeding Grower 16® will help maintain growth rates and meet calf target weights later in the year when grass quality and supply is short.

The recommended feeding range is 1kg to 3kg per calf per day with grass. Start by introducing Grower 16® with straw or fibre to avoid gorging and make sure the calves has access to clean, fresh water. Because the product contains Bovatec, it should only be fed to weaned calves and kept away from dogs and horses.

Once the calves have reached 100kg to 120kg they can transition to PKExtra 20® or PKExtra 30®, a pre-mixed precision blend of Palm Kernel Expeller (PKE) and molasses. This can be introduced slowly at about 500gm per heifer per day, increasing to a maximum of 4kg to 6kg per heifer/cow per day.

Morrinsville farmer Robbie Cookson says, given the results he’s had with his heifers, he’d recommend Grower 16® and PKExtra 30® to anyone. He farms about 500 cows on 150 hectares near the Paeroa Tahuna road.

In the time that Robbie’s been using Grower 16® and PKExtra 30®, he’s seen an average growth rate of 1kg per heifer per day with the latest weigh in seeing an average weight of 221.7kg at 8 months.

“The palatability, growth rates and value of these products make them worth their weight in gold. I transitioned the calves from Grower 16® to PKExtra® and, since Christmas, onto straight PKE,” says Robbie.

For more information and to order your Grower 16 or PKExtra, contact your Agrifeeds Animal Nutrition Sales Representative or rural retailer.